Theo Epstein may have brought two championships to Boston, but Ben Cherington isn’t lagging in working miracles in his first week as General Manager for the Boston Red Sox. Before the World Series has finished, Cherington has already made a move that could make the Red Sox become the team to beat in the American League East in 2012…He will be putting John Lackey on the Disabled List due to Tommy John surgery.
Lackey has been, quite possibly, the worst Free Agent signing this side of Carl Pavano. His 5-year, $82.5 million deal seemed like a solid deal for Boston after he went 102-71 with a 3.81 ERA over eight years for the Angels. However, it just hasn’t work out for the Red Sox. Lackey is 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA since “earning” his mega-deal with Boston. His success and bulldog mentality made him a great fit when he signed, but now, he’s earning the “how-many-more-years” question from Saux fans. Due to this elbow injury, Boston can have him at the league minimum in 2015 as a vesting option in his contract…if they want him!
Long-term contracts for the aging (see 8-year contracts to 31-year olds, like Alfonso Soriano) are a thing of the past, as are steroid to create longevity in success of aging players. You have to wonder when gambling on veterans with long, pricy contracts will be a thing of the past, as well. Epstein earned his legacy in Boston by building a winner. While clubhouse horrors continue to creep out from under the rug, Boston steps into rebuilding a roster full of aging veterans and handicapping and financially debilitating contracts. Cherinton’s magic has just begun. We’ll see if he can manipulate any other tricks with some hidden gems like this.